Baked Fennel With Parmesan
- 4 medium fennel bulbs
- 250ml fresh cream
- 2 cloves garlic, crushed
- Freshly grated nutmeg
- 50g Parmesan cheese shavings
- Salt and pepper
- Preheat the oven to 180°C / 375°F.
- Bring a pan of slightly salted water to the boil.
- Clean and trim fennel bulbs and cut into wedges then boil for 5 – 7 mins (depending on thickness) and drain well.
- Place the fennel in a buttered ovenproof dish and in a bowl, mix together the cream, crushed garlic and nutmeg and season with a little salt and pepper.
- Pour cream mixture over fennel and scatter Parmesan shavings on top.
- Bake for 20 – 30 minutes or until fennel topping is golden brown and fennel is tender.
Ribollita: Tuscan Bean Soup
- 250g dried cannellini beans, soaked overnight
- Extra virgin olive oil
- 1 white onion, sliced
- 2 carrots, cut into small chunks
- 2 ribs celery, cut into small chunks
- 2 cloves garlic, minced
- Few sprigs fresh thyme
- 4 ripe tomatoes, peeled, seeded and roughly chopped
- 350g cavolo nero, kale or Savoy cabbage, cleaned and cut into strips
- Toasted country-style bread
- Drain the beans and boil for an hour and a half (or until tender) in abundant water, adding salt towards the end of the cooking time. (Reserve this bean water.)
- Pour a good drizzling of olive oil into a pan and add the onion, carrots and celery and sauté for 10 minutes.
- Add the garlic, thyme and tomatoes and cook for a further 5 minutes.
- Meanwhile, purée two thirds of the cooked beans with a little of their cooking water, and add this purée to the pan.
- Throw in the cavolo nero, season with salt and pepper, and add enough of the bean water to cover ingredients.
- Simmer for an hour, stirring every so often to stop mixture sticking to bottom of pan, and adding a little more bean water if necessary.
- At this point, add the remaining whole beans and cook for a further 20 minutes.
- Check seasoning and serve over some toasted country-style bread with a generous drizzling of extra-virgin olive oil.
Be My Valentine!
Double Chocolate Biscotti
By Momma Marie Lucia
- 2 cups of flour
- ½ cup of unsweetened cocoa powder
- 1 teaspoon baking soda
- 1 tsp. salt
- 4 tablespoons of unsalted butter
- 2 tablespoons of canola oil
- 1 cup sugar
- 2 eggs
- 1 cup of chopped walnuts
- ¾ cup of semisweet chocolate chips
- 1 tablespoon of confectioner’s sugar
- Whisk together flour, cocoa powder, baking soda and salt.
- In a second bowl mix butter and sugar and with a mixer beat until very fluffy.
- Add the eggs and continue to beat.
- Add the flour making the batter stiff.
- Stir in the walnuts and chocolate chips.
- On a greased cookie sheet with floured hands form dough into two long logs. Each log should be about 12 inches long and 2 inches wide.
- Sprinkle with a little of confectioners sugar.
- Bake logs at 350° F for 30 to 35 minutes until almost done.
- Remove and cool.
- On a cutting board, cut the biscotti diagonally into ¾ inch slices. Arrange biscotti cut sides down on the cookie sheet and re-bake for 5 to 10 minutes until crispy.
- Cool well.
- When they are completely cool, sprinkle with confectioners sugar.
Tracing back to the days of the Renaissance, these choco bites with a mix of pistachios and nuts are a salty sweet treat that when stacked into piles can be stacked and tied in cello bags-make the perfect homemade gift.
- 12 ounces of semi sweet organic chocolate chips
- ¼ pound of unsalted butter cut into little soft pieces
- 4 eggs
- 1 ¼ cup of dark turbinado sugar
- ¼ teaspoon of vanilla or ½ vanilla bean
- ¾ cup of organic white flour
- ½ teaspoon of baking powder
- ¼ teaspoon of sea salt or sea salt with lavender
- 3 ounces of cleaned pistachios
- 1 zest of organic non-waxed orange
- Melt the chocolate and the butter in a double boiler.
- When melted set aside, keep warm.
- Mix well at high speed the eggs and sugar until fluffy.
- When they start to form, add the melted chocolate, then vanilla and mix.
- Slowly fold in the flour, then the baking powder and salt.
- Add the remaining chocolate and pistachios.
- Put the dough in the refrigerator until firm or for one hour.
- Preheat oven to 325°F.
- Line your cookie sheets with parchment paper and spray with canola spray.
- Spoon out golf ball size dough rounds on the cookie sheet spacing each one about 3 inches apart.
- Bake until biscotti are brown.
- When baking is complete, remove and let cool on a rack.
- Sprinkle with confectioner’s sugar.
- 1 cup of fresh firm raspberries, or coconut, or candied ginger
- 1 lb of organic semisweet chips
- 1 1/2 cups of organic heavy cream
- Pinch of sea salt
- A mound of unsweetened organic cocoa powder, for dusting the final truffles in.
- Chocolate truffles are delicious small bites of chocolate. You can use your imagination in flavors and fruits.
- Puree the berries, if using berries or dice the candied ginger into very, very small pieces.
- Melt down the chocolate chips in a double boiler until almost melted.
- Leave them a little chunky.
- In a double boiler heat the cream until warm.
- Mix the cream and chocolate together with a whisk.
- Add the raspberry puree, or ginger or coconut.
- Add a pinch of salt.
- Put in the fridge for 1 hour.
- In the meantime, fill a rounded plate with organic cocoa powder.
- Remove the dough from the fridge and shape out dough into 1 inch round balls.
- If the dough is still very soft, put them on a cookie sheet and refrigerate until firm.
- After you have shaped out the dough, roll into the cocoa thoroughly coating them.
- Keep them in a sealed container in the fridge, they will keep for about 1 week.